The thing about bedrest is you spend a lot of time in bed. Not resting.
I do a lot of staring at the ceiling. I watch “Marley and Me” three times a day and still cry my way through it, every time. There may or may not be an obscene amount of precious phone battery life supporting a neverending game of Bottle Flip.
But something else I’ve been doing: praying. Listening. Waiting. Reading. Studying. Asking. Begging. Listening. And praying. And praying.
I want so much to be with my church family right now. I want to teach my weekday preschool class. I want to encourage my friends and be a voice of reason and I want to be a light especially when it’s dark. I want to get up, to help, to serve, to speak truth, and to spur fellow believers on.
I want to act.
But God keeps saying to me “Be still.”
My feelings, my perceptions, my opinions and my actions–God reminds me time and time again that He is working things for the good of His people with or without my physical presence.
I beg and I bargain and I cry out for forgiveness. What have I done to be grounded like this? What can I do to change it? How can I best apologize and repent so that I can continue on with the plan I had for my life?
God tells me “Be still and know that I am God.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
I am not, nor will I ever be, in charge. I follow up a limited perspective with a predictable human response.
Have I really been trusting in God?
I’m happy to make sacrifices when I know there will be a favorable outcome. I will take risks as long as success is highly probable. I trust in God as long as His plan for my life involves me getting to do what I wanted to do anyway.
I work well with others as long as I am in agreeance with them and they with me; any plot twist or rejection (real or perceived) is a direct attack on my value as a person, and a defensive path is what I immediately and selfishly pursue.
Can I be brave enough to be broken? Brave enough to fail? Will I sacrifice even when the cost is more than my common sense would allow? Will I fight even when I know I won’t win; or more importantly, the opposite: will I not fight even when I know I would win?
Can I trust God even when I’m feeling hurt or betrayed or lost? Can I trust in Him even if it means I can’t get out of bed? Do I not believe that this could be exactly a crucial part of His infinitely higher plan?
Do I keep going, even when I can’t see?
I have been presented with a divine opportunity to meditate in these questions and to go to God in uninterrupted intercessory prayer over these things which break my heart. (Otherwise known as: doctor’s orders.)
We cannot allow Satan to rip our church apart. We cannot make assumptions or get caught up in gossip. We cannot alienate and vilify an entire group of God-fearing people because of a cause, however good we are led to believe that cause is. And we cannot allow one person to slip through the gaps where we as believers should have been standing arm-in-arm.
We must work together. We have to rid our minds of an “us versus them” mentality, both inside and outside of our church walls. Our ministries are intertwined to build up the entire body of Christ. If one area of the church is suffering, we are all suffering. (I call to witness: that time I had a gimpy thumb cause I burned it on a poptart, and I couldn’t do anything for a week.)
If needs change in one ministry, we simply must do our best to accommodate those changes and pray for the people being reached and loved through the obedient service of those we find ourselves weirdly competing with.
We need to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.
Guys, this is so important: we are a good church. There is so much love and compassion and goodness and GOSPEL being proclaimed and examplified in every hallway. We are a people who know the meaning of miracles and the beauty of redemption. We are faster than 80% of all snakes. Satan does not stand one single chance if each of us chooses a position of humility, and holds strong to the dedication and love we have for our Holy God and His Word.